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06 November 2018, 12:03 | Darnell Patrick
Nigel Morris 13 hours Friday November 2nd 2018
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The Taoiseach also said the UK's withdrawal from the bloc had undermined the historic Good Friday Agreement that ended three decades of violence in Northern Ireland and called for a guarantee that there would be no return of a hard border with the Republic.
British Prime Minister Theresa May raised the possibility of a review mechanism for the backstop in a phone call on Monday with Varadkar that she had sought to update him on the current state of the talks, the Irish government said in a statement.
While European Council President Donald Tusk said in September that an extraordinary summit would be called for November 17-18 to finalize and formalize the EU-UK arrangement if sufficient progress in talks was reached, the EU leaders are now not planning this extraordinary summit.
But while Brussels has also made some concessions on a potential review mechanism, it insists that Britain can not have a unilateral ability to abandon the backstop.
However, May's former Brexit Secretary has said she must publish legal advice on any deal ahead of a Commons vote, so MPs are fully briefed.
Downing Street has insisted it does not have a deal ready for signoff, in response to reports over the weekend of there being an agreement in the making.
The conversation followed a report that Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has privately demanded the right to pull Britain out of the Irish backstop after just three months.
"He recalled the prior commitments made that the backstop must apply "unless and until" alternative arrangements are agreed".
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The UK would effectively become a non-voting member of the European Union, forced to accept laws made in Brussels with no power to shape or amend them, he said.
Under the EU's proposal, Northern Ireland would remain in the customs union and in the single market for goods.
Sunday Times reports that under plans devised by May and EU negotiators, the whole of the United Kingdom would effectively remain within a customs union with the bloc after Brexit.
"Obviously still having this issue in relation to the insurance arrangements for Northern Ireland and Ireland, and that very much remains our focus and attention in getting that deal".
Mrs May has flatly rejected the idea, saying she would not agree to anything that risked splitting the UK.
But the government's Brexit department stated that they are confident there will be a deal that works for businesses - and reiterated their stance against a People's Vote.
Both sides agree there must be no customs posts or other barriers that could disrupt businesses and residents or undermine Northern Ireland's peace.
But, highlighting the political complexities of Brexit, a large Survation poll for Channel 4 found Britons would vote to stay in the European Union if there were another ballot, backing "Remain" by 54 per cent to 46 per cent.
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